Mary A. Keating (nee Schoen) of Elm Grove died December 7, 2019 at the age of 88. Beloved wife of the late Eugene J. Keating. Survived by six children: John (Lynn Runde), David (Sandie), Carole (the late Bradley) Baker, Richard (Mary), Kathryn (Ken) Carter and Laura (Jeff) Wilz; 17 grand-children; 9 great grand-children, and her beloved dog, Riley. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene, her parents, Professor John E. Schoen and Anna P. (Jirikowic) Schoen, her infant son, Peter, and her son-in-law, Bradley Baker.
Mary attended Washington High School, where she participated in numerous activities and graduated with honors. She went on to graduate from Marquette University with a degree in Medical Technology. While in college, she became a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority. It was at Marquette that she met the charming New Yorker that would soon become her husband.
Mary loved to play her Steinway grand piano and had a beautiful soprano voice which she happily contributed to the St. Mary’s choir, the Irish Fest choir and the Elm Grove Women’s Club choir, as well as at sporting events during the singing of the national anthem (a real attention-getter).
She was a den mother when her sons were cub scouts and a girl scout leader when her daughters were girl scouts (15 years as a girl scout leader). She was proud to be a long-term volunteer at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital (15 years) and a dedicated poll worker for elections (25 years).
Mary also loved the north woods of Wisconsin, beginning annual vacation trips to Lost Lake in St. Germain at the tender age of 3 (with her father, an avid musky fisherman) and continuing throughout her life. She instilled the love of the north woods and the outdoors in her children, many of whom continue the family tradition of vacationing in Vilas County.
Like many women in her generation, Mary’s job was raising a family and she did it well. She was a cook, cleaner, seamstress, doctor, nurse, teacher, coach, driver, psychologist, advocate, confidant and sometimes a co-conspirator. There were certainly bumps along the way, but Mary (and Gene) managed to raise six high-spirited, intelligent children to responsible adulthood. There are rumors that she may qualify for sainthood.
Despite numerous physical challenges, Mary was always ready for adventures and always a fighter. She rebounded from a variety of medical procedures faster than people half her age. She loved to travel and enjoyed many trips (domestic and foreign) with Gene. Memories of her long and full of life gave her comfort in her final days. She remained stubborn and determined to the end.
We honor her memory and we will miss her dearly.
Special thanks to Marge and Dick Hitt for being such good friends and to Dan and Jeaneane Hately for being such good neighbors.
Visitation at Becker-Ritter Funeral Home on Sunday, December 15, from 2-4 p.m. Funeral at 10:00 a.m on Monday, December 16th at St. Mary’s Visitation Church, Elm Grove followed by interment at St. Mary’s Visitation Cemetery.
Please direct memorials in Mary’s name to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the American Cancer Society or the Elmbrook Humane Society.
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral section.